Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The single coolest vegetable you will ever see in your life.

Question: What was your favorite color as a child?

Was it purple?

If so, then congratulations, because you and I were awesome together. Like you, I also loved purple, and wanted everyone to know its glorious hue. Purple was the first crayon I reached for, and the last dash of marker scribble I would have used to color your picture.

At age four, I wanted a pet chick with feathers dyed to be purple. At one point, I wanted to be a pet chick with purple feathers. There were no limits to purple's potential, and to me, the fact that the words "purple" and "perfect" sounded almost exactly alike was not a coincidence. Not at all.

Well, it now appears that my childhood dreams are coming true! Because as of this week, I have learned that my favorite vegetable, the sweet potato, comes in a startlingly different shade. And oh, fellow purple lovers, it's not orange.

Is this not craziest sweet potato you've ever seen?

I ate this on Monday, purchased from a tiny market in Honololulu. Beka said, "I think you'll like this," but she may not have realized the full extent of the miracle.

Now that I'm back in Austin, my rainy, pretty Austin, we'll start talking about city stuff here in a moment. (Although I may force a couple more Hawaii photos on you.)

But I wanted to share the Okinawan Sweet Potato first, in case anyone else finds this as exciting as I do.


huebscher said...

I lived there as a kid, and might have loved the potatoes purely for their color — central market occasionally carries them in austin, in case you get the craving again.

Austin Eavesdropper said...

@huebscher - Oh my gosh. That is a great tip!! Not only were they delicious, they were exceptionally sweet / nutty tasting. In Honolulu, they roasted them, then chilled was like eating candy.

Anonymous said...

Not as badass as purple sweet potatoes but there ARE tiny purple potatoes at Central Market. They look mega cool in potato salads.

Le Tigre said...

When I was a kid I decided to paint my mom's kitchen purple while she was away, as a welcome home gift. How's that for a purple obsession? :-) Those potatoes look delish!

Frank J. Rivera said...

They have a purple mashed potato dish at El Arbol. I think they're the same thing? Very very tasty.

Kristen said...

ahh that is so awesome! I had no idea the sweet potato came in purple hues!

Austin Eavesdropper said...

@thefirstkitchen - I am shamelessly crushing on your blog right now. Thank you for stopping by Austin Eavesdropper!

@Le Tigre - Well how is my favorite commenter? When do I get to stalk your online presence back? (And PS, that's a great gift. A gift I would happily accept, should you care to give your kitchen painting skills another go.)

@Frank - El Arbol! People are losing their ish over that place these days. Have you been? Did you freak out?

@Kristen - RIGHT. That's what I'm saying! It's a minor miracle, a miracle that comes to us from Okinawa. Thank you, Asia!

Taylor F said...

I just moved to Austin from Kauai a couple days ago. (know anyone looking for 2 cool roommates from hawaii?) Imagine my surprise on seeing my favorite quasi-vegetable on your blog! Which is a cool blog, by the way.

Not only are purple sweet potatoes as tasty as they are pretty, you can also prepare them in roughly infinity different ways. Last time I cooked them, just before leaving kauai, I did little quarter-inch rounds, parboiled and then sauteed in butter, topped with a home made garlic aioli and a couple little rosemary sprigs. It came out alright :)

The ultimate secret method, though... I can't believe I'm about to tell you this, it's pretty much forbidden ancient potato ninja knowledge... The purple in purple sweet potatoes comes from anthocyanin, which changes colors at different PH levels... it just so happens to turn hot pink at the PH of lemon juice...

Yes, that's right... what's cooler than dark purple mashed potatoes? Dark purple/hot pink mashed potato swirl. Just add lemon juice. Don't tell anyone though, lest the ancient potato ninjas seek revenge.

Austin Eavesdropper said...

@Taylor F - Omg! OMG!!

How tempted am I to broadcast your secret to the whole world (i.e., the very slim portion of the world that reads my blog)! That is such a delightful trick. @TheFirstKitchen informed us that they sometimes carry our favorite vegetable at Central Market, which is located on N. Lamar, and also south, on Westgate.

I am going to snag some, and prepare your hot pink/purple sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving. My in-laws won't know WHAT to think. (Except that their daughter-in-law is magical?)

Oh, and! Welcome to Austin!! You'll like it here.